Date of Award

Fall 1977

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Sances, Anthony

Second Advisor

Grausz, John P.

Third Advisor

Kaplan, Stanley


Respiratory distress is a major cause of mortality and morbidity among newborn infants. Many neonates are not able to breathe well enough to meet minimum body needs for oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. Ventilatory support is essential for their survival. Some patients may survive but suffer permanent neurological injury from inadequate ventilation or lung damage from improper ventilatory management. Effective therapy for this group requires a close match of the support provided by a mechanical ventilator and the specific needs of the patient. These infants are unstable with constantly changing requirements. It is therefore necessary to monitor these patients continuously and adjust the operation of the ventilator to match their needs. Much of the presently available equipment used for the mechanical ventilation of newborn infants is limited in its ability to provide this support. Most ventilators provide little information on the response of the patient to the action of the machine and are ineffective in responding to a small infant who is developing a spontaneous breathing pattern. These patients need ventilator assistance, not control. This dissertation will address these problems and describe an infant ventilation system which responds to these needs and provides additional capabilities for the analysis and support of infant ventilation. The chapters are arranged sequentially to follow the development, evaluation and clinical testing of this system...



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